Temples, Manchester Academy 2, Saturday 1 March
Monday 3rd March 2014 @ 10:00 by Max Wieland

When you see some of Manchester’s finest current musicians excitedly anticipating a band whose debut album has been out for less than a month, then the expectations are immediately set pretty high.

And for a band that had little over an hour to impress, their psychedelic indie-rock style captivated from the start.

Breaking into ‘Colours to Life’, with its floating 45 second instrumental intro, you could sense the eagerness of the 900 capacity crowd at what was about to ensue.

Temples – made up of Kettering quartet James Bagshaw, Thomas Warmsley, Sam Toms and Adam Smith – had that definitive control that bands crave after just 90 seconds when Bagshaws piercing vocals tangled with their scuzzy rock to awaken the few still lingering at the bar.

In what seemed like an hour from a by-gone era, there was the crowd and then there was the band, both fixated on one another, no distracting camera flashes or streams of mobile phones in the air, just a sound stability not found so often at gigs anymore, and Temples deserve credit for that.

The Northamptonshire foursome are the closest I’ve witnessed to capturing that fine balance between a nod to the past and a foot into the future at the archaic second floor venue.

Their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sun Structures’ slotted into the Manchester University Students Union building like a classically rented sixties masterpiece.

Their set-list bounced from one to the other with each holding their own.

‘Move with the Season,’ the bands sixth song of a ten song set saw a largely impressive crowd finally dirty their footwear before the dreamy ‘Keep in the Dark’ saw crowd-surfing at a premium.

Their genre-bending sound is hard to dissect for a standout moment because there were no fillers of such, but the crowds choice part of the set undoubtedly came when they burst into new single ‘Mesmerise’ for their encore.

Not that it differed much from their near faultless set, but as their final and arguably liveliest song, Saturday night had finally arrived in Manchester.

Until the bands eventual die-hard fans ultimately tire of this soon to be go-to song, the three and a half minutes that Mesmerise bounced around the Academy 2 will undoubtedly stay with the lucky few in attendance last week.

It was a performance that didn’t want you leaving more because there wasn’t much more to take in.

What the Temples laid down last Saturday was a benchmark for the next batch of up-and-coming bands.

Because to have some of the city’s best musicians in attendance at the shadowy depths just two years after forming, it’s not a question of how big Temples are going to be, it’s just a question of when.